Cof­fee catch up with ....

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page -

Edi­tor Denise S. Cahill sat down with Small Busi­ness Min­is­ter Paul Pa­palia, who has owned laun­dro­mats and a vend­ing ma­chine busi­ness in the past. 1. What per­cent­age of busi­nesses in WA are small to medium?

99 per cent are small to medium en­ter­prises but 97 per cent of those are small busi­nesses. A high pro­por­tion of them are sole traders. I have in­cred­i­ble ad­mi­ra­tion and re­spect for any­one who em­barks on small busi­ness.

2. Why is it im­por­tant for us as con­sumers to sup­port lo­cal busi­ness? If you’re buy­ing a prod­uct or ser­vice from a small busi­ness, their rev­enue is of­ten re­turned in your com­mu­nity be­cause those peo­ple live in your com­mu­nity.

3. How does the State Gov­ern­ment sup­port small busi­ness?

The Jobs Act that comes in on Oc­to­ber 1 is an ini­tia­tive that will en­sure lo­cal small busi­nesses are com­pet­i­tive for State Gov­ern­ment con­tracts. We are in re­ally tough times but we still spend bil­lions of dol­lars in op­er­at­ing costs. In the past, we haven’t been ef­fec­tive in en­sur­ing lo­cal play­ers get con­tracts for things like the pro­vi­sion of in­fras­truc­ture. We’re mak­ing the ten­der process more suit­able for small busi­ness. The re­cent an­nounce­ment of cheap flights be­tween Perth and Broome will hope­fully con­vince the 428,000 peo­ple who go to Bali ev­ery year to hol­i­day in Broome.

4. What are the chal­lenges for small busi­ness own­ers in this tough eco­nomic cli­mate?

There’s a big chal­lenge to con­vince peo­ple that they can get value for money at home. It’s be­come a habit for WA peo­ple to hol­i­day in Bali but many peo­ple haven’t trav­elled in their own state. Pric­ing will al­ways be a chal­lenge. The per­cep­tion is that big­ger is bet­ter and cheaper but that’s not nec­es­sar­ily the case be­cause they can over­look the qual­ity of ser­vice that can be pro­vided in a small busi­ness.

5. What is your lo­cal cof­fee shop?

Dome is across the road from my office and Ja­maica Blue is nearby.

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